REBIRTH: A LIVING HOPE
Updated: Jul 22, 2020
‘They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’ - Luke 24:32
Following the death of Jesus Christ I can imagine, on some level, things then were very much as they are now. A sense of darkness and the knowledge of his public crucifixion shrouded many with worry, fear, concern, and anxiety about the future. While he was alive, Jesus’ very presence inspired hope and influenced many to believe in the God of the scriptures as who He proclaimed Himself to be as the One true Living God. The very presence of Jesus’ person opened blind eyes, raised the dead, healed the sick, affirmed those regarded as outcasts, and inspired a multitude to believe and have hope.
Everything Jesus represented, for many, related to a better day and brighter tomorrow had died the day He was crucified. The world, for a moment, filled with a deafening silence and full of sorrow, grief, and loss. What now? Is that it? Is there no hope for the future? The world was now shrouded in a darkness that there appeared to be no hope for the future and light by which one could look to that could bring comfort, assurance, and confidence that this too shall pass. Darkness has a way of haunting us with doubt that hope will ever be fulfilled and there is no reason to believe better days are ahead of us. Much like the plague of darkness God allowed the Egyptians to encounter, it was a darkness that could be felt.
When you read Luke’s account of the two men who traveled the road to Emmaus this is what I envision traveling through time to walk in their shoes as they left Jerusalem following Christ’s death. Whatever hope they had was snuffed out like a flame to a candle. Hearts heavy, minds weighed down with the reality of misfortune, grief, and loss they just witnessed and felt personally associating themselves with what they had witnessed and come to believe about Jesus, this moment in time must have felt like a gut punch to the stomach or dagger straight to their hearts.
Talking with a high school principal Easter Sunday April 12th, for a moment I began to feel the weight of what my friend and colleague has to endure as a school and community leader seeking to provide a message of hope, encouragement, and solace to her school family during these trying and challenging times where answers and certainty of an expected end to this darkness are in short supply. Like the two men on the road to Emmaus we are all moving along in a fog dazed by our personal and universal losses to what we knew as life and the hopes of a present future involving graduations, birthday celebrations with family and friends, employment and finances now, momentarily, are gone.
The hope of Christ, and His resurrection from the grave, that the two men were unaware had happened provides hope for the sincere seeker in the midst of a prolonged darkness that provides company and comfort, assurance and confidence God is present with me to keep me encouraged and uplifted as the two men experienced as Jesus talked with them on the road to Emmaus. We know the conversation Jesus had with them inspired them, because the moment He departed they not only talked about their hearts burning, but they immediately arose and traveled the same distance back to Jerusalem with the good news of Jesus being alive filled with the new hope they received from the conversation they had with Jesus.
The talk they had with Jesus and the new revelation He was not dead but alive prompted them to act in spreading the word to others Jesus had risen. For the believer and sincere seeker, the message of Jesus Christ is the light for dark times and living hope that fuels one’s assurance and confidence in God to save, heal, deliver, create breakthrough, uplift, encourage, bring forth life from death, light from the darkness, make rough places smooth, and crooked paths straight. Two men weary from what was taken from them and having heavy hearts about their grief and loss were immediately inspired to travel beyond the distance they had traveled to encourage and uplift others with good news!
Let the living hope of the good news about Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection provide you the spiritual sustenance of peace, joy, and the love of God in Christ Jesus to be a source of encouragement in the life of others. We are all impacted by this season of darkness that plagues us, but there is light we can look to and have hope in God’s salvation to make what isn’t what it ought to be and work everything together for good. Share this encouraging message with one other person who could benefit from the hope the life of Jesus Christ provides to all who believe and sincerely seek light during these dark difficult days.
Inspired to share His grace!